Ways to celebrate Armed Forces Day while social distancing

The past few months have given American Legion Auxiliary members an opportunity to demonstrate that no matter what circumstances we’re faced with, it is always possible to show appreciation for those who serve. As we embark on these unprecedented times together, we must continue to support and advocate for veterans, military, and their families.

Armed Forces Day honors the service of all five branches of the U.S. military: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. This year, we will celebrate Armed Forces Day on May 16, and though we’re all affected during these uncertain times, we still need to celebrate the sacrifices our brave troops make on a daily basis.

Military homecoming, navy servicewoman with family

This year’s Armed Forces Day is a bit different from those of the past. Unfortunately we can’t shake a servicemember’s hand in the local grocery store, but we can thank our servicemembers by giving them a call or writing a letter. As technology advances, it is much easier to communicate with those serving overseas or stationed in a different state. We may not be able to go within 6 feet of each other right now, so thank a servicemember face-to-face using FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangout, Zoom, or other forms of virtual communication.

Social media also is a great way to express your appreciation for our military while social distancing. Show off your hero by posting a picture of them on Facebook or another social media platform and add a caption thanking your loved one who serves. Encourage other American Legion Auxiliary members to post a picture thanking their men and women in uniform.

There are normally many events in cities across America for Armed Forces Day each year. Unfortunately, parades, luncheons, and other large crowd gatherings will most likely not be held during this year’s national holiday; however, there are still many ways you can celebrate servicemembers from the comfort of your own home while social distancing:

  • Fly the American flag
  • Wear red, white, and blue
  • Put a sign in your yard thanking servicemembers
  • Hang a poppy wreath on your front door or mailbox
  • Call or send a letter to an active military member
  • Send care packages to those serving overseas
  • Thank a servicemember via social media
  • Mow the lawn for a servicemember or their family
  • Donate to a military- or veteran-based organization like the American Legion Auxiliary (learn more at ALAforVeterans.org/donate)


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